I come from an OR background, specifically cardiovascular/cardio-thoracic surgery. Outpatient vascular surgery with a salary sounds like a dream to me, but then again, I am a die-hard OR nurse. Outpatient surgery is just that, outpatient. You will have the most stable patients that are coming to surgery. You may also have a variety of surgical procedures that are quick to moderate in length, unlike lengthy vascular procedures that are often inpatient due to extensive comorbidities (TEVAR, bypasses etc.). No call for a specialty like this is practically unheard of. It is the reason I am no longer a CVOR nurse because your “on call-life” is usually very extensive and can cause you to be married to that job. So, in my eyes the pros and cons are:
-SALARIED. Awesome. Period.
-No on-call or working late (hopefully), and this will probably ebb and flow because there may be days where you leave early. Similar to a call schedule. Like say Monday you leave an hour early because you are done with surgery for the day and Friday you stay an hour late because products or people or whatever is running behind. This could be looked at as a negative if you are salaried. Again, you will learn your time management (turnover, case length, prepping the OR at the beginning of the day etc. etc).
-Outpatient patients (the most stable surgical patient population)
-Specialty – no learning multiple surgical specialties. You will hopefully learn your surgeons inside and out (preference cards are golden, make or take notes of these!) within a couple of months of being there.
- No weekends, no holidays, no call. You have more of your life back..and if you have a family…or even if you don’t, this will eventually matter to you over time. Take advantage of these perks!
-SURGEONS are like old baseball gloves, they generally don’t like change. They need to trust you to be competent. They are the captain of the OR, so do your best to always be attentive and always learning. They will be grouchy for awhile because you’re new and learning, which is totally normal. But if you learn their preferences and little idiosyncrasies they won’t want any other nurse doing their surgeries but you.
-Very specialized – If you love vascular surgeries this can be a pro. But being well rounded inside of the inpatient surgical realm is also helpful, especially with outpatient surgery.
-Outpatient surgery is usually fast paced: small, quick cases or moderate 1-2 hours max. This may not be the case with vascular, but this will include quick turnover times and constantly moving, but in a good way. I would say this is probably also a pro, considering what specialty you’re coming from.
Personally, I loved outpatient surgery. I loved the pace, you will learn a lot. And changing specialties always gives me nausea and anxiety because it’s simply the unknown. So, I wish you the BEST of luck. Hopefully you’re going to love it!